Sustainability is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. This definition, which was created in 1987 at the World Commission on Environment and Development (the Brundtland Commission), is similar to the “seventh generation” philosophy of the Native American Iroquois Confederacy mandating that chiefs always consider the effects of their actions on their descendants seven generations in the future.
At Sawyer WBC, we are continuously evaluating our process and the materials we use to build boards that last and require the smallest overall environmental footprint and human impacts to construct.
- We meticulously design our boards with exacting precision and workmanship. We create boards that will meet your needs for decades by creating boards based upon root design principals and not simply the latest trend.
- Unlike traditional boards our wooden boards are hollow; they don’t have a foam core. However, we have begun to use locally sourced polystyrene foam to construct ribs and rails. We have found that replacing plywood and reducing glue use creates an equivalent footprint to using minimal amounts of foam.
- We carefully select our wood. We seek suitable reclaimed wood and sustainably harvested wood from blown down trees and from forest health projects.
- We carefully select our resin. The resin used in building our boards creates the largest source of carbon dioxide for a board –whether foam or wooden. For this reason we use epoxy resin instead of polyester resin; even though epoxy resin has a similar carbon footprint to polyester resin during the manufacturing process, it creates far fewer volatile emissions during the curing process and have fewer potential adverse human health effects. Epoxy resin is also stronger which contributes to the longevity of our boards. (It is important to note that so-called bioresins are also currently available. At this time, however, we do not believe they are refined enough for use with our boards.) We have changed resins however and are now using a higher quality resin that can be heat cured for a much stronger finish. In addition we are now using a 2 part linear polyurethane finish to protect the finish from harmful ultraviolet light and provide a durable finish.
- We carefully select our fiberglass. We use US made glass exclusively. The quality difference between US manufactured glass alone is worth additional cost. We can also purchase glass that is distributed nearby and delivered in bulk from the distributer.
- We carefully select our transportation methods. We strive to acquire materials and products that are as close as possible to our workshop in order to reduce transportation emissions associated with our boards. Additionally, we work with other wood boat builders in the area to combine orders and reduce transportation associated with products and materials.
Ride our boards for many endless summers! Perhaps the greatest contribution a wood board has to offer is that, with proper care, its lifespan is multiple times that of a foam core board and high quality Sawyer boards get better with age.